When Clive Reynard and I embarked on this projectearlier in the year, our aim was to produce a short commemorative bookletcontaining cameo portraits of those whose names are inscribed for posterity onEastleach War Memorial.
These were young men, some barely more than children,who had connections with Eastleach. They may have been born here, attended thevillage school or worked on local farms. A hundred years later, we send ourchildren off to work or university. A century ago, they enlisted and set offfrom Eastleach to serve in the Great War. Sadly, they never returned. Apartfrom two, who are buried in Eastleach churchyard, they now all rest “in somecorner of a foreign field.”
The objective was to help the current generation relate to the youngsters behind the carved names on the memorial by recallingtheir short lives and their sad ends. The reality of what happened to them, both in Flanders and further afield, doesn’t make easy reading. It is difficultfor us to grasp the true horror of their experiences but I hope that, in somesmall way, my researches will enable the reader to empathise with them as realpeople who left our lovely village, full of hope, possibly even excitement, andwho gave their lives for their country and for what they considered to be ajust cause.
On this, the centenary of the outbreak of the GreatWar, the “war to end all wars”, we pay tribute to them all and hope that theywill be remembered for evermore.
4th August 2014